Khul is the dissolution of marriage upon wife’s request. It is a kind of final divorce, but in this case she has to pay back her dowry and all what her husband has given to her in order to get her freedom back. 

Dissolution of the marriage at the wife’s request

Definition and status

khul' refers in Islamic law to the dissolution of the marriage in specific words and in return for compensation paid by the wife to her husband.

This is lawful in Islamic law, as Allah says:

‘If you have cause to fear that they would not be able to keep within the bounds set by Allah, it shall be no offence for either of them if she gives up whatever she may in order to free herself’


:Ibn 'Abbas reports

‘‘Thabit ibn Qays’s wife said to the Prophet (peace be upon him): “O Messenger of Allah, I do not blame Thaabit ibn Qays for any defect in his character or his religious commitment, but I would hate to commit an act of disbelief now that I am a Muslim.” The Prophet (peace be upon him) asked her: “Will you give him back his garden?” She said: “Yes.” The Prophet (peace be upon him) said (to Thabit): “Take your garden back and divorce her once.”’[1]

Related by al-Bukhari, hadith No. 5,273

The khul' is a dissolution of the marriage in return for compensation paid by the wife, repaying him the dowry he gave her, as in the quoted hadith when Thabit’s wife gave back the garden that she had received in dowry. It is permissible to agree a compensation that is less or more than the original dowry, according to the majority of scholars, but some scholars maintain that it may not be in excess of the original dowry. The khul' is considered like a final divorce, in the sense that the husband may not revoke it and reinstate the marriage during the waiting period. He may, however, re-marry her during her waiting period, but this will be a new marriage with a new marriage contract, and with her full agreement. The waiting period in the case of khul' lasts until the woman has completed one menstruation period. 


  1. The garden at issue was the dowry Thabit gave his wife. Hence, he was entitled to get it back as she was the one to desire the termination of their marriage.